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University honors excellence with Eminent Faculty Awards

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has recognized five exemplary educators as its 2023 Eminent Faculty class.

The UL Lafayette Foundation sponsors the annual awards. They are the highest recognition the University confers on faculty. Established in 1965, the awards honor educators for their research, teaching effectiveness, and contributions to their professions and to campus life.

“For many years, the Eminent Faculty Awards have recognized extraordinary faculty members for their devotion to our students, excellence in the classroom, cutting-edge research and dedication to community service,” said John Blohm, vice president for University Advancement and the Foundation’s CEO.

“This year’s Eminent Faculty honorees are exceptional educators, scholars and community servants; they embody the traits and ideals at the heart of the University’s core mission,” he added.

Dr. Quincy C. Hilliard and Dr. Kalimuthu Krishnamoorthy are this year’s Distinguished Professor Award honorees. Hilliard is a professor in the School of Music and Performing Arts and composer-in-residence. Krishnamoorthy is a professor in the Department of Mathematics.

The Dr. Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award is named for the University’s fifth president. It has recognized faculty commitment to teaching and innovation since 1992.

This year’s recipients are Dr. Aimee H. Barber and Master Instructor Nona Leger Istre. Barber is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Istre, in addition to teaching, coordinates the computer science program in the School of Computing and Informatics.

The Leadership Service Award recipient is Dr. Claire Amy Schultz, an assistant professor in the Department of Visual Arts.

The Foundation first presented the award in 2016. It honors a faculty member who combines service learning with classroom instruction to forge skills and knowledge that students can apply to community leadership opportunities.

The University selects the honorees based on recommendations from a faculty committee. Each recipient receives a $5,000 stipend.

Profiles of the recipients follow.

Distinguished Professor Award
Dr. Quincy C. Hilliard is the Heymann Endowed Professor of Music and composer-in-residence for the School of Music and Performing Arts. He earned two Global Music Awards; one of his pieces was recorded on a compact disc that was nominated for a Grammy Award. The Library of Congress commissioned Hilliard to compose a work in celebration of the bicentennial of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth, and another for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Dr. Kalimuthu Krishnamoorthy is a professor and the Philip and Jean Piccione Endowed Chair in Statistics for the Department of Mathematics. His many areas of research expertise include meta analysis, multivariate statistical inference, censored data analysis and statistical methods for assessing occupational exposure. He served as president of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Statistical Association. Krishnamoorthy is a longtime member of the International Indian Statistical Association.

Dr. Ray P. Authement Excellence in Teaching Award
Dr. Aimee H. Barber 
is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Examining ways college educators can help future elementary school teachers identify educational inequities and influence policy changes once they enter the classroom are among her many research interests. She has shared her expertise in that area nationally. Merging Language Arts instruction with STEAM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics – is another key research interest.

Master Instructor Nona Leger Istre is a program coordinator for the School of Computing and Informatics. She collaborated with industry partners to create a senior project course for computer science students. Istre has served on the University’s Faculty Senate since 2014. She also was a member of the University’s Governance Redesign Task Force, its Strategic Planning Committee and a faculty selection committee for SOUL Camp Student Mentors. Istre has earned Outstanding Advisor recognition many times.

Leadership Service Award

Dr. Claire Amy Schultz is an assistant professor in the Department of Visual Arts. Her research interests include aesthetics, multiculturalism and critical social theory. Schultz coordinates multiple service learning projects. For one project, students created professional lesson plans to support The Hilliard Art Museum – University of Louisiana at Lafayette. For another, students developed research-based studio activities for visually impaired students through a partnership with the National Federation of the Blind.

UL Lafayette’s 2023 Eminent Faculty class will be recognized with video tributes for each of this year’s honorees. Beginning Sunday, Sept. 17, one video will be posted each day to the University's Facebook and LinkedIn pages. The 2023 Eminent Faculty class will also be recognized during a private luncheon on Friday, Sept. 22.

Photo caption: This year’s Eminent Faculty Award honorees at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette are, top row, from left: Dr. Aimee H. Barber, Dr. Quincy C. Hilliard, and Master Instructor Nona Leger Istre. Bottom row, from left, are Dr. Kalimuthu Krishnamoorthy and Dr. Claire Amy Schultz. Image credit: University of Louisiana at Lafayette